Does laser eye surgery hurt?
No, not usually. Laser eye surgery is painless for most people. You’ll be given very effective anaesthetic drops before the procedure, and during surgery you may feel a sense of pressure. After surgery most people experience some light sensitivity, eye irritation and watering in the eyes, however these effects are temporary. The amount of discomfort varies with the type of procedure that you undergo. This will be discussed with you at your consultation.
How long does it take?
You will be in the theatre for 20 to 30 minutes, however you’ll be in the centre for about 2 ½ hours to ensure all pre- and post-operative checks are performed.
Is laser eye surgery safe?
Yes, laser eye surgery is very safe. Over 31 million cases have been performed worldwide and the procedure—in the hands of an experienced surgeon and utilising state-of-the-art equipment—has an extremely low incidence of significant complications.
What is the risk of complication?
The risks are rare and often only minor if they occur. Laser eye surgery is a very safe procedure, but like all surgical or medical procedures there is always a risk of complication. Treatment should not be undertaken unless the patient can accept the most unlikely possibility of complication. All known complications will be discussed at your consultation.
Are there likely to be any long term unsuspected side effects of laser eye surgery?
Lamellar surgery, which is the procedure of creating the flap, has been performed for over 40 years, and we have follow-up results. The excimer laser has been used on the cornea for over 20 years, and for LASIK for over 15 years. There have been no long-term toxic effects documented. There is a very rare condition called iatrogenic keratectasia, where myopia can return, accompanied by a reduction in visual quality. The cornea can also stretch in the months following surgery, which can result in a return of myopia and astigmatism. However this is when inappropriate surgery is performed, and we do our best to ensure this never happens. Your risks of surgery will be discussed with you further at your consultation.
What if I can't keep my eye still during the procedure?
With our WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser's multi-dimensional eye tracker, the eye's position is measured accurately and continuously. Even when your eye moves, the treatment remains perfectly centred.
Will my vision be corrected forever? Is it permanent?
The cornea tends to stay corrected once it has been modified. There have been occurrences of regression in the first three months, but these can be corrected with an enhancement procedure.
Near vision will however deteriorate for all people during their forties, regardless of whether they were short-sighted, long-sighted or had normal vision.
A laser procedure can’t protect you from unrelated eye conditions, such as cataract or unexpected refractive error change, which would have occurred without the procedure.
When will I be able to drive and return to work?
Depending on the type of procedure, you can usually drive within the week, and in some cases as soon as the very next day. Depending on the procedure and the type of work that you do, you can be back to work in a couple of days, or up to one week after surgery. At your consultation, when your procedure is determined, we will discuss recovery times with you allowing you to organise time off work.
Can I have laser surgery and still apply for the Police Force or Defence Forces?
Yes, you can have LASIK or ASLA and still apply. In fact, we have many patients who are members of the Police Force and Defence Forces. If a report is reuired, a medical report fee of $140 will be charged. Some occupations, such as flight crew, may have restrictions on whether they can have LASIK. Please discuss with your Vistaeyes consultant or potential employer.
All eye surgeons are trained well enough to do laser surgery - right?
No, not all eye surgeons have the same training or experience. We encourage you to investigate your prospective surgeon’s experience and skill.
How can I be certain Vistaeyes use the safest procedures?
Dr Wolfe is fastidious about using best-practice surgical procedures. We do not reuse disposable products, and we use a completely new surgical set-up for each eye. In pursuit of the most advanced and proven technology, we have updated our laser six times since Vistaeyes commenced in 1996 - unlike some clinics who are still using their original laser.
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